10-11 June 2006 Big Creamy Flats (near Mt Namadgi)
... or 15 hours in bed in the high hills
Map: Rendezvous Creek 8626-1S 1:25000; Yaouk 8626-2N 1:25000
Getting There
This walk was organised and led by Sandy B and Ian S as a CBC walk:
(10-12 June – Namadgi N.P. – M/R Route: Middle Creek- Big Creamy Flats- Mt. Namadgi- Rotten Swamp- Sam’s Creek- Scabby Range- Mt. Gudgenby. Limit of 8. Stoves only. Maps: Rendezvous Creek 1:25,000 Leader: Sandy B & Ian S Transport:~$10.00.).

Still working on my pack weight - 18.6kgm this weekend, 400gm better than last weekend!.  Damper camping, so only 2 litres of water; but 3 days of food and a new gas cylinder.  Contents here.

Day 1 - Saturday:

The weather forecast wasn't too good for the weekend, but walking is walking.  The weather forecast wasn't too accurate, either - perhaps the front came through a little earlier than expected and a little more forcefully.

We were off at 8.35am, heading through the 'roos and across the bridge over Bogong Creek.  An overcast morning.  We headed a little more to the NW than I usually do across the grasslands, so hit Middle Creek more to the E.  A lovely set of rocks and little cascades (listen) I don't think I've seen before (pic 1).  We crossed to the N bank of Middle Creek and paused at the Middle Creek aboriginal rock shelter.  (4km and 1hr to here.)

Then on up the N side of Middle Creek, certainly a lot easier than the other side.  We stopped at 10.30am for morning tea, the going still pretty easy with some wattle regrowth (pic 2).  Overcast, but fine.  (5.6km and 1hr 55mins.)  We continued up Middle Creek, crossing a couple of gullies coming in and through some small open flats on the creek,  12.30pm for lunch.  (8.8km and 4hrs.)

By 2pm we'd reached the drainage line complex at the top of the last flat-ish area, around 1km and 120m from the saddle above Big Creamy Flats (10.2km and 5hrs 30mins to here).  The weather was starting to close in, shell jackets and pack covers appearing.  The going became a little slower as the scrub closed in for this last climb.

At 2.45pm we'd reached the saddle above Big Creamy Flats (11.3km and 6hr 10mins).  We broke out onto the clear, grassed flats and headed down the top of Creamy Flats Creek (pic 3).  Crossing a couple of feeder creeks, we arrived at a sheltered camp site which Ian and Sandy had used before.  Packs down at 3.15pm (12.1km and 6hr 45mins).

It was raining so we quickly set up tents, got water and ... went to bed!  Well, I don't know what the others did, but I had a doze with my MP3 player then, when the rain eased, cooked tea with a few stretches from my sleeping bag, then went back to my music.  No port drinking tonight.  The rain kept up till I dozed off at some stage.

Sometime during the night I was woken by a slap on the tent - a fallen branch, I thought.  But the whole side of the tent was dark and, giving it a quick belt, a slide was heard.  Snow.  Quite thick, I found, when nature called.  Cold boots.  By 7am we must have had around 15cm of snow, with strong wind gusts.  Ian wisely called off any further approach to Mt Namadgi (it would have been blowing a gale up there, even if we could have approached the top) and we slept in till a 9.30am start back.

Day 2 - Sunday:

Breakfast in bed, packing in bed, everything in my sleeping bag until it finally had to be packed (pic 4).  Just about every layer of clothing on, snowy tent packed and away by 9.30am.

Very pretty walking out up Big Creamy Flats (0.85km and 30mins), with great views back and up to the locally named Mt Mavis (SH 1711) (pic 5) and the Mavis Ridge.  Mt Namadgi remained shrouded in cloud.  The leg down from the saddle was slow in the snow (1.7km and 1hr 10mins to here).  Views ENE to the locally named Mt Herlt (1612) when the cloud cleared.  Morning tea at 11am (2.3km and 1hr 30mins).  The scrub was pretty (pic 6).

A stop for lunch at 12.30pm, a couple of hundred metres NE of the top junction of Middle Creek (4.2km and 3hrs).

Then on down the creek, the going getting easier and the snow a little less as we descended.  Broke onto the cleared area at 2.40pm and crossed Middle Creek at 2.55pm (8.2km and 5hrs 20mins).  A little more water in the creek since yesterday.

Over the grasslands to the bridge, pausing at one of the rises for me to empty the entire contents of my pack on the ground looking for my camera.  Our trusty leader then pointed out that it was hanging around my neck and another friendly party member recorded the whole embarrassing incident in pixels.  However, I did get a good shot of the party with the snow covered Mts Namadgi, Burbidge and Kelly as a backdrop.

Back to the car at 3.45pm (12km and 6hr 15mins).

Changes into dry and clean shoes and clothes, then the drive home.  We decided that the drive from southern Tuggeranong to home is a little like the walk across the Gudgenby grasslands - you think you're at the end, but still have a way to go.

An excellent experience.  My clothes and shell keep me dry and warm and my little 3 season Palm Passport bag and Reactor liner are coping well in the cold.  We'll get to Mt Namadgi the next time in better weather.  Thanks to Ian and Sandy for leading us, and to Jenny W and to David and Meredith H for their company.

Distance: 24.2km  Climb: 600m.  Time: 2 days.

Click on a thumbnail below to see the full sized picture
1 Falls at mouth of Middle Creek
2 Middle Creek scrub
3 Breaking onto Big Creamy Flats
4 My tent on Sunday morning
5 Looking back along the walkout from Big Creamy Flats
6 Snow twigs